In order to squeeze as much life out of your lithium-polymer battery, once your laptop hits 100 percent, unplug it. In fact, you should unplug it before that.
Cadex Electronics CEO Isidor Buchmann told WIRED that ideally everyone would charge their batteries to 80 percent then let them drain to about 40 percent. This will prolong the life of your battery — in some cases by as much as four times. The reason is that each cell in a lithium-polymer battery is charged to a voltage level. The higher the charge percentage, the higher the voltage level. The more voltage a cell has to store, the more stress it’s put under. That stress leads to fewer discharge cycles. For example, Battery University states that a battery charged to 100 percent will have only 300-500 discharge cycles, while a battery charged to 70 percent will get 1,200-2,000 discharge cycles.
And it’s not just constant power that shortens your battery’s life. While batteries degrade naturally, heat also accelerates the degradation. Extreme heat can cause the cells to expand and bubble. Kyle Wiens of iFixittold WIRED: “Too much heat to the battery over time, and the battery isn’t going to last as long.”
You can battle this degradation by keeping the lid open and your laptop out of your actual lap while using it.
Written By Roberto Baldwin &
Most lithium batteries should last you a few years, but improper care can decrease that lifespan, meaning that your battery will be unable to hold a charge quicker, or unable to hold as big a charge as it used to. So, to clear things up, here’s how to actually extend your battery’s health as much as possible.
Perform shallow discharges
Instead of discharging to zero all the time, lithium-ion batteries do best when you discharge them for a little bit, then charge them for a little bit. Discharges to 50 per cent are better for your battery’s long-term life than, say, small discharges to 90 per cent or large discharges to zero (since the 50 per cent discharges provide the best number of cycles-to-usage ratio).
Don’t leave it fully charged
Similarly, lithium-ion batteries don’t need to be charged all the way to 100 percent. In fact, they’d prefer not to be — so the 40-80 per cent rule you is a good guideline. When possible, keep it in that range to prolong its life as long as you can. And, if you do charge it to 100 per cent, don’t leave it plugged in. This is something most of us do, but it’s another thing that will degrade your battery’s health.
Fully discharge it once a month
This may seem contradictory, but hear us out. While lithium-ion batteries shouldn’t be discharged regularly, most modern batteries are what’s known as “smart batteries”, which means that they can tell you how long you have until your battery dies (e.g. “2 hours, 15 minutes remaining”). This feature can get miscalibrated after a lot of shallow discharges. So manufacturers recommend fully discharging your battery once a month to make sure this stays accurate.
Keep it cool. Most people overlook this one
Excess heat is not only bad for your processor (and your lap), but your battery as well. See the table from Battery University right — which you can click on for a closer view — a hot battery will degrade in health much quicker than a cool one. As such, we highly recommend using a laptop stand. When it comes to your phone, check out our previous Ask Lifehacker on keeping your phone temperature down.
Wrriten By Whiston Gordon